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How to Best Manage Passwords

How to Best Manage Passwords

The average person can have nearly 100 passwords (or more!) when combining professional and personal accounts and services. That is a lot to remember! Many often use the same email and password for many (if not all) accounts, so they have less to remember. This is the number one liability for accounts online: password reuse. If a popular streaming service suffers a security breach, you may not be too concerned with someone watching a show on your account. However, if your log in information for this service is the same for your banking or other sensitive accounts, the damage can be much more severe. When sites suffer a breach, the hackers immediately try those credentials on banking, email and other sites to see how many areas they can log into with one password. So, it is vitally important to have a different password for every account. In addition, to be really secure, your passwords should all be at least 15 characters (some cybersecurity analysts recommend 25 characters.) How is it humanly possible to remember up to 100 unique lengthy passwords? It’s not! That’s where password managers come into play. A password manager will become your best friend, because it takes care of three critical tasks for you:
  1. It generates lengthy, complex passwords for each of your accounts or logins
  2. It stores these complex passwords in a digital “vault”
  3. It automatically fills in this complex password every time you log into a site
People often say “I’m already using my Internet browser to save my passwords – isn’t that the same thing?” No! Browsers are designed for us to surf the Internet, and although they can store passwords, it doesn’t mean that your passwords are secure. It also means your passwords would be in one browser, so they wouldn’t be available if you use a different browser. Whereas with a password manager, you could log into your personal vault from any browser, making them much more versatile. What if the Password Manger is compromised? Great question! LastPass has been hacked multiple times, but the number of compromised passwords? ZERO. LastPass encrypts all passwords, so the company never sees your passwords, keeping your passwords secure even if a security incident occurs. To find the best password managers for you, your family, and/or your business, we recommend Googling “Best Password Managers”, and you will see a number of reviews of the top password managers available today. Also, please contact your Program Manager to ensure your organization is enrolled in designDATA’s complimentary Dark Web Scan offering which will notify you if any account in your organization has shown up on the Dark Web. Stay safe out there! by Imran Khan

Manage Your Work Life Balance and Avoid Burnout

Internally at designDATA, we have been focused on staying connected and checking on each other.  Many times, we have heard staff say, “What day is it?” or “I feel like I work past 5 pm more often now than before.”  Are we showing greater loyalty by sending emails after 6 pm on a Friday because we work from home?  This is an interesting topic and can apply to most of us in this remote work environment.  The Harvard Business Review published some tips about this topic in the article, Avoid Burnout.  It’s important to manage your work-life balance, develop routines, and set boundaries.  It has been a challenge for all of us to some degree.

At designDATA, we share calendars to help with meeting scheduling and work management.  A new modification across the company is the use of unified colored categories in our Outlook calendars to categorize blocks of time.  As an example, block the time, “personal”(grey),  to remember to check on the kids who should be in Distance Learning, not playing FortNite.  Perhaps, you are scheduling team huddles or check-ins, use a specific color so at quick glance you could quantify how many reoccurring meetings you have for the week.  This tip should help avoid burnout and increase productivity with some planning and effort.  Plan your balance and set your boundaries.

4 Ways to Have a Better Home Office

When we started this work-at-home journey, we were in unchartered territory.  Each week finding more efficient ways to boost your work productivity while balancing everything else.  We imagine that many stationed their computer in a common area of their home that made sense at the time. However, like many of us at designDATA, it’s time to “Change Things Up”.  Perhaps you have realized you need a desk monitor instead of that smaller laptop screen or your kitchen chair isn’t as ergonomic as first thought. This article in Association Now, Better Home Office, may help to improve productiveness. For other tips and tricks to improve productivity please see past articles by designDATA. Below are 4 that many have said helped so far:

  1. Taking Meeting Notes in Microsoft Teams
  2. E-Sign Solutions
  3. Using your iPad as a second display for your PC.
  4. Teams on Your Phone or Tablet

Status in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has a Status feature (also sometimes called Presence) that lets people know your availability.  This feature works automatically, but you can also control it manually if you need to:

To access it, click on your portrait in the top-right of Teams, and then mouse-over your current status to see your available statuses. 

If there’s a meeting going on in your calendar, Teams will auto-update your status to “In a Meeting,” or to “On a Call” if you’re on a Teams call.  If you’re idle for a period of time, it will auto-update to “Away.” 

You can manually choose a different status if you want to override the auto-chosen status.  Just be sure to click on “Reset status” when you’re done to let Teams go back to automatically updating your status. 

Lastly, you have an option to “Set status message” to let people know what’s up, such as “On a lunch break, back at 1pm.”